One might even call this salad tabbouleh, as many cooks and supermarkets do.
However, I made the mistake a long time ago, of ordering tabbouleh for Indira – when she was very little, about 3, and first started to enjoy store-bought “tabbouleh” – at a Greek/Armenian restaurant called Le Varouj in Grasse. And found that what we got contained more mint/parsley and lime juice and only a very very little amount of grain. I figured then what the restaurant served us was real tabbouleh, as explained in these two links
while what many of us make, which has a greater proportion of grain such as couscous (some people use bulgur), can be correctly termed only a couscous salad.
Noor, especially, loves it, as do I.
In the summer, it is such a pleasure to make. Even simpler than pasta to prepare, I love that there’s no stove-top cooking involved here.
It was made in just 15-20 minutes after I woke up one morning a few days ago and wondered what to pack for Shri’s lunch.
The girls and I had this for our lunch that day with some grilled trout on the side.
1 cup of medium grain, whole wheat couscous
3/4 teaspoon of butter
1 orange bell pepper, diced fine
1 small can of sweet corn, drained thoroughly ( I have been using the no-added-salt, no-added sugar variety for some time now and the corn tastes so much better without the added salt)
1 medium-sized can of chickpeas, drained thoroughly
2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh basil
1 cup of finely diced cucumber (unpeeled)
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 and 1/4 cups of just-boiled water
Add the butter to the couscous, then cover it with freshly boiled, salted water and leave it (till all the water is soaked) for 5-7 minutes. Fluff it up gently with a fork.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients, season lightly with salt and black pepper (optional, I skip this), then toss with the olive oil.
Now add the couscous to this bowl, and stir everything together and leave it to rest for about an hour before eating, to allow the couscous time to absorb the juices and flavors of all the vegetables .
This is very fresh, very cool, very light.